Sunday 25 October 2020

China regularly attacked Indian satellite communications, 2007-18

China has several counter-space technologies to threaten space systems from GEO whereas India has mastered anti-satellite missile technology

China has carried out several cyber-attacks between 2007 to 2018. These attacks included attacks those on satellite communication in 2017, according to a US report. However, ISRO says that none of the systems has been compromised. The Indian space agency acknowledges the cyberattacks, though.

According to the report of the US-based China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI), China has several counter-space technologies to threaten space systems from geosynchronous orbits (GEO). On the other hand, India had earlier demonstrated anti-satellite missile technology capabilities in 2019, which allows the country to “kill” rogue or enemy satellites.

The American report says further that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continues to develop technologies to “blind and deafen the enemy”. The report asserted that China has the capability to conduct cyberattacks at ground stations with the intention to corrupt or hijack systems to control satellites including spacecraft.

The report comes at a time when India and China have been engaged in a standoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). In fact, newswire had earlier quoted defence sources saying that Indian security officials want four to six “dedicated satellites” to keep a close eye on Chinese activities along the LAC. The Indian security officials reportedly want “high-resolution sensors and cameras”, media had reported.

Amid the border tension, India and China have agreed to stop sending more troops to the frontline, according to a statement on 22 September. On 21 September, senior commanders held the sixth round of Military Commander-Level Meeting where both the nations also agreed to refrain from changing situation on the ground.

According to a joint statement, the two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on stabilizing the situation along the LAC in the India-China border areas. They agreed to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries.

In the meeting, they also decided to strengthen communication on the ground, avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments, and stop sending more troops to the frontline. A decision was also taken to refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground, and avoid taking any actions that may complicate the situation.

The two sides also agreed to hold the 7th round of Military Commander-Level Meeting as soon as possible, take practical measures to properly solve problems on the ground, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border area.

However, according to sources, India and China agree are yet to agree on disengagement of troops along the LAC but have agreed that no further buildup will take place.

14 Corps Chief Lt Gen Harinder Singh and his likely successor Lt Gen PGK Menon along with a Joint Secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had attended the meeting from the Indian side at Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The meeting started on 21 September at around 10 am and went on till 11 pm.

The Corps Commanders of the two sides met after more than a month as both sides had been engaged in at least three firing incidents that have taken place along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The Corps Commanders met at the Moldo hut opposite Chushul on the Indian side. 

Prior to the meeting, the agenda and issues of the Indian side were discussed and finalized during a high-level meeting attended by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, last week.

The talks happened at a time when the Indian side has occupied six major hill features which are helping the Indian Army to be in dominating positions on heights.

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